Sugar is a very addictive substance. It is so addictive, in fact, that some researches say it is more addictive than cocaine. Eating sugar causes an increase in dopamine which makes you feel pleasure. That reward makes you want to keep coming back to sugar to get the same pleasure, but you need to eat more and more sugar to get the same effect. Hearing how addictive sugar is has inspired me to look to other sources of sweetness to get a similar feeling without the addictive property.
There are so many ways to reduce the amount of added sugar to your diet. I have already cut down on a lot of things, but still have a long way to go. It is important to note that it is unrealistic to expect yourself to cut out added sugar altogether, and that’s ok!
Start cutting down on sugar by weaning yourself off of it. Add less sugar to your coffee, pancakes, tea, and more. If you gradually cut down the amount you won’t notice as much. When baking, try cutting down the amount of sugar used and odds are you won’t miss it all that much.
Another tip is to cut out sugary sodas. I switched to water a long time ago and haven’t felt the same about soda since. Every once and a while I crave the taste, so I let myself indulge and the craving is satisfied for a while.
The next tip is to choose the right kinds of fruits. Fruits are a great way to add the sweetness you crave to many dishes, but not all fruit is equal. Fresh is always best, but if you have to go for canned choose the fruit packed in water or natural juice. Frozen is the next best thing to fresh. Dried fruit is great if there is no added sugar. Maybe purchase a dehydrator and dry your own fruit so you can control the amount of sugar added(I recommend not adding any).
Another great tip for reducing your added sugar intake is to add flavor so you don’t miss the sugar. Using flavor extracts like almond, vanilla, lemon, and orange will give your taste buds a similar flavor without all of the extra sugar. Ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are also a great way of adding flavor without adding sugar.
The best tip for avoiding added sugar is to try to eat as many natural foods as possible. The more whole foods you eat, the less room you will have to go for sweets.